While many of us focus on drunk driving or distracted driving as prevalent causes of car accidents, in some cases, car accidents are results of pre-existing medical conditions. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami car crash attorneys understand that proving fault in a personal injury case involving a crash caused by a driver’s medical condition is not easy, but we understand how to navigate this type of claim.
A 2011 study conduced by the National Institute of Health found that chronic medical conditions most likely to increase accident risks include alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, diabetes, and dementia. Of course, poor eyesight can make it unsafe for a person to drive as well. Florida has some of the most lenient laws in the country when it comes to prohibiting motorists with medical conditions from operating a motor vehicle. Essentially, the state relies on confidential reports from other motorists, after which it conducts an investigation, which includes requesting the driver’s medical records and reviewing the driver’s history.
In many car accident cases, the issue of fault is relatively straightforward because one driver was clearly negligent (i.e., did not stop at a stop sign, ran a red light, etc.). Negligence occurs when a person causes injuries or death by failing to use reasonable care behind the wheel. In the context of car accident cases, reasonable care is defined as how a sensible or prudent driver would have operated the motor vehicle in the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a driver’s excessive speeding caused an accident, he or she would be liable for the crash and any resulting harm.
In cases in which the other driver suffered a medical emergency just before the accident, fault is not so simple. The judge or jury will likely examine expert medical testimony to determine whether or not the at-fault driver was aware of his or her medical condition. If the person was aware of a dangerous health condition, such as a seizure disorder, but operated the motor vehicle anyway, that person would likely be considered negligent because a driver exercising reasonable care would understand the risks associated with such behavior.
On the other hand, if a person experienced a seizure for the first time behind the wheel, that person could invoke the defense of the “Sudden Emergency Doctrine,” which requires the defendant to establish that he or she was unaware of the potential health risk that caused or contributed to the crash. In short, this is a defense that may relieve a driver from liability for an auto accident when they suffer an unforeseen medical emergency.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a person’s medical condition, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami car accident attorneys will make sure your rights are protected at every step of the way. We proudly take on clients from throughout South Florida. For more information, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.
More Blog Posts:
Medication Errors May Cause Serious Harm to Florida Residents, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 29, 2017
Halloween Accidents and Injuries in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 29, 2017
Accidents Caused by Animals on the Road in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 29, 2017